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  How many points should be earned for upvotes on questions and answers?

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

On Stack Echanges, the rep points earned for an upvote are 5 on a question and 10 on an answer. Is this appropriate for PhysicsOverflow too, or are there opinions that this should be changed ( for example to 10 for a question and 10 for an answer as it was on SE a few years ago) ?

asked Feb 15, 2014 in Discussion by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ no revision ]
retagged Apr 6, 2014 by dimension10

4 Answers

+ 3 like - 0 dislike

I think 10/10 is good, but for votes on articles, there should be an "originality" multiplier, which people can vote up and down, which will multiply the whole thing, so that the score is originality times 10 times (upvotes minus downvotes). The originality multiplier is important for research papers, as without this, accurate but derivative papers will outscore classics which are extremely original, but harder to read, perhaps, or less immediately obviously useful, because they are ahead of their time.

Not rewarding originality is a very big problem in a refereeing community, it rewards derivative work, and encourages second-rate contributions that merely rehash things that are already known. This is understood by most journal editors, who have a high bar for originality. This doesn't need to apply to Q/A of course (but maybe it's good there too).

answered Feb 26, 2014 by Ron Maimon (7,720 points) [ no revision ]
Hi Ron, can you have a look at the flags? We seem to have a spam issue :-/. I can delete the ones we obtained so far, but I should sleep now as it is way after midnight ...
+ 1 like - 0 dislike

Arguments for no, do not copy SE 

  • Questions are important too, it makes sense to encourage asking good questions. No questions implies no answers. Therefore, 10,10 is a better rep setting. 
  • Even though most questions may be sporadic, writing a good question still takes a lot of time and effort, to think through.           
  • Questions are not only beneficial to the OP, but others too, just like answers.    

Feel free to criticise or add more arguments (you can suggest in the comments or edit the post yourself if you can).  

(I agree with this opinion personally, so add 1 vote to this.)        

answered Feb 21, 2014 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]
+ 1 like - 0 dislike

Arguments for yescopy SE 

  • Questions are sporadic, whereas answers involve effort.   

Feel free to criticise or add more arguments (you can suggest in the comments or edit the post yourself if you can.) 

(I disagree with this opinion personally, so subtract 1 vote from this.) 

answered Feb 21, 2014 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]

This is not true, writing a good question also takes as much time and effort as a good answer does.    

+ 0 like - 2 dislike

I was never happy with the voting system on physics stack exchange where everyone's vote was placed on the same level. So I suggest magnification factors for the value of a user's vote based upon:

  • Academic qualifications: 5: Holds an academic or research position at a university; 4: Has a PhD in physics; 3: graduate in physics; 2: undergraduate in physics, graduate in engineering/science/mathematics; 1: all users
  • User points: K*user points

and a magnification factor for a question/answer that everyone can pick, similar to what Ron suggested for originality:

  • Gold: Outstanding, but a voter forfeits a 30 point bounty
  • Silver: Very good, forfeit of 20 points
  • Bronze: good, forfeit of 10 points
answered Feb 27, 2014 by physicsnewbie [ no revision ]

I completely disagree with this, it is a sort of blind trust on authority, it is also impossible to verify the supposed users' claims.   

The discrimination based on authority is exactly what you DON'T want. Academics have no special expertise when they are talking, unless they know what they are talking about, and in this case they are no different from other folks who know what they are talking about. The worst thing you can do is bias stuff using authority of folks, it allows frozen consensus to develop when all the folks agree amongs themselves on something wrong (this is not an atypical situation regarding physics questions, which often lack a rigorously demonstrated answer). So you need to check the contribution independently of any authority, and you must expect all users to do so without blind reliance on authority. If they can't evaluate the accuracy except based on authority, you should advise them not to vote at all.

The point of an "originality" multiplier is to ensure that things are actually original. A back-reference to a similar method in the comments might make an originality score drop down from 30 to zero very quickly. It shouldn't cost reputation to say "this is original", but it should be an honest assessment based on best knowledge you have.

An example of an original thing coming from outside of any mainstream physics is the "stand up physicist" quaternion representation of the Lorentz group, which is equivalent to a certain Weyl Dirac representation, but not in a straightforward way, because it is written with quaternionic products on both sides. This came from absolutely nowhere, it is original as all heck, but it is probably not so significant, because the representation theory of the Lorentz group is already well understood (although this particular tricky way of writing it down seems to have been missed). If someone finds some ancient paper saying the stand-up physicist wasn't the first to do this, it would drop in originality significantly. But don't hold your breath.

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